You know, I can’t help feeling that thee’s a risk here:
British Columbia is no stranger to wooden giants. Along its western coast, Douglas fir and Sitka spruce trees topping 60 meters in height have in some cases weathered nearly a millennium of storms.
Now a growing chorus of architects, foresters and engineers want the province’s biggest city to grow another cluster of wooden giants: timber skyscrapers.
Already, Vancouver’s 18-storey Brock Commons tower stands as a testament to the vast possibilities of wood. Once the world’s tallest timber building, it was built cheaper, faster and with less environmental impact than a comparable steel and concrete structure would have been – offsetting an estimated 2,432 metric tonnes of carbon.
Now the provincial government has changed its building codes, effectively doubling the height limit for wood-frame buildings to 12 storeys (Brock Commons was granted an exception when it was built). The Canadian government is expected to match BC’s codes nationwide.
Hmm, well. As Grenfell showed, building in concrete doesn’t make a place fireproof. But still:
Despite popular misconceptions of wood as fire-prone and unstable, it can be a robust and innovative building material.
That doesn’t quite answer the misconception, does it?